Religion and Society Final Exam
Account for the continuing vigour of religion in the United States.
The United States remains the most dominant centre of science and rationalism on the planet today- normally these social factors create a division between religion and people, although, in America, people continue to be highly religious. Religion in America is available to its people as effortlessly as consumer goods are; a market economy. Every possible religious idea is freely available to be practiced within this market economy and their popularity is due to the vast availability of these religions and religious ideology; simply put, Religion in America is based on variety. There is a very large social significance to religious practice in America. There is a connotation in America that one must believe in a higher power, i.e. God. People are looked upon as different and out of the ordinary of American society if some allegiance and devotion is not expressed towards God. Even though devotion to ‘mainstream’ Churches is declining, religion and religious practices remains of high priority to American people.
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America is in an era that is showing devotion to mega Churches. Mega Churches hold religious services traditionally (within a house of worship), and non-traditionally (through radio and television broadcasts) to very large amounts of people. These non-tradition religious communities are poised to spread the word of their specific beliefs and faith through modern means; this is a very simplistic approach to gaining and maintaining interest in their message of God and God’s will. The modern approach to religious devotion and the social significance that Americans place on religious belief all account for the vigour of religion in America. Although all forms of religion make up the religious right of America, there are still certain religious groups who have a higher percentage of followers compared to others.
Religious groups want to ensure these ‘popular’ religions remain powerful especially when faced with social and political issues within American government and state. Moral Majority is a coalition of religious believers with influence over important people within America with important ties to government, the corporate world, etc. The organization is thought to have influence over American politics in order to preserve religious ideology and influence on American law and way of life. The total integration of religion within all aspects of America is a direct reflection of the importance placed on religious belief and practice by many within the country.
Discuss the impact of ‘liberalism’ on the Catholic Church in Mexico.
Napoleon’s conquest of the Iberian Peninsula was the first instance where we observe the Catholic Churches attitude toward liberalism. The Catholic Church initially showed supported toward the revolution because in Spain they were seeing radical groups take away the control they had over the regions churches and schools. After the Catholic Churches war in Spain they were faced with severe unrest within their own Church, but also with severe economic turmoil. These hard times opened the doors for political organizations to take shape. A well known group that came about was called the Masonic Lodges. These Masons were historically very Anti-Catholic and worked to eliminate the influence of Church from state; they had planned to disrupt the Catholic Church and its day to day proceedings in anyway necessary. There were many groups like the Masons and eventually they would collude and join forces, thus creating the Liberal Party, thus creating the liberal movement and the revolution had begun.
They came into power through the rebellion at Santa Anna and quickly began to pass laws again restricting the Catholic Churches role within Mexico. Formally the Catholic Church had its hands in various aspects of Political Mexico. During this time the Liberal Party constructed the Constitution and by this mediated the Churches role in public life. The Catholic Church rebelled against their new oppression although with help from American allies the Liberal Party was triumphant and remained in power. These power struggles called for changes in the way the Church conducted itself, not through the wish of the Catholic Church but by unrest caused by opposing sanctions and inner conflict of the impact of Liberal changes. The Catholic Churches only remaining ray of hope was to rebel, with the help of the Cristeros.
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It was the Cristeros goal to have the ability to let Catholicism play a central role in their lives. It was their goal to free themselves from a state which threatened their beliefs and way of life- they did not divide the two. There revolution was indeed popular and well fueled but came short because of the American assistance and political agenda integrated with the current regime. The Catholic Church was at a standstill in Mexico and Liberalism had exhausted it to its very core, revolution after revolution.
George Grant wrote in 1963 “…unassisted reason is able to know that without religious beliefs and actions no society whatever can last”. Evaluate this statement using the ideas and historical evidence presented in this course.
Without religious beliefs and actions no society whatever can last. This indicates that without religious influence a society cannot function, grow, and survive. Religion creates a fill for the apparent truth regarding the unknown in this world that people of all race and gender crave. In all of the races, classes, and regions studied in this course there was an underlying need for structure, truth, and reason.
As stated in this course the study of religion is the public practice of mutual rituals which join a society together. These rituals are usually based around a trust and faith of some supernatural force or essence. The joining of society, which religion does is pivotal to a positive achievement of life and goals for all within a society. United we stand and divided we fall is an excellent way to describe the importance of structure in society.
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